Mango and cream. Sweet milk. Hibiscus chaat masala. Carrot halwa.
These Indian-inspired ice cream flavors and more will be dripping down young faces at a pop-up hosted by inventive ice-cream boutique Malai in Carroll Gardens, to celebrate the launch of the new children's book from Kalamata's Kitchen.
The free pop-up, which will take place on August 26 at Malai's scoop shop, will include a reading from Kalamata's Kitchen and tasty activities for young people to encourage adventurous eating. Kalamata's Kitchen is a storybook series and online platform which features a little girl with South Indian roots bravely exploring new foods and cultures with her stuffed alligator pal, Al Dente.
Kalamata's Kitchen and Malai are a match made in taste-bud heaven, Malai founder Pooja Bavishi says.
"I absolutely love desserts, and I am truly proud of my culture and I wanted to share that in a variety of ways.
"Ice cream is a really great palette which carries flavor in a way that others cannot, and it always makes people smile."
Malai, which means "cream of the crop" in a North Indian language, draws inspiration from globally-sourced whole ingredients, aromatic spices and unexpected twists on old classics.
"So much of what Kalamata's Kitchen is doing translates into the efforts of our operation," Bavishi said. "We also want to introduce everyone to new flavors, celebrate Indian culture and encourage kids to try new things. To partner with Kalamata's Kitchen makes it that much easier."
Kalamata's Kitchen encompasses a robust online presence featuring free activities that help create meaningful experiences for kids and their families, an ever-growing list of the most kid-friendly restaurants in every city, called the Taste Bud Travel Guide, and a popular blog, where kids can read personal stories from top chefs.
Prior to Kalamata's Kitchen, Sarah Thomas was a sommelier. She started Kalamata's Kitchen with Derek Wallace as a multimedia platform to encourage adventurous eating and teach children about food and cultures all over the world.
"I wish there had been a little Brown girl with big hair that showed me it was great to celebrate the things that were unique and special about my family and our culture, and was also a hero, role model and friend to kids I grew up with," Thomas said.
The brand also has an animated television show in the works and a product line of kid's apparel and games, with a portion of sales benefiting No Kid Hungry.
Kalamata and her alligator friend have a motto for life: 'I promise to keep my mind open and my fork ready, to try each new food at least two times, and to share what's on my plate with someone who doesn't have enough.'
"That sums up what we're trying to accomplish with kids — to get kids to be more curious, more courageous and more compassionate, all through food," Thomas said.
If you can't make it to Carroll Gardens, Kalamata's Kitchen and Malai have curated an ice cream pack available nationwide on Goldbelly, a popular curated online food marketplace. It includes four exclusive ice cream flavors along with an insert that provides access to videos and guided activities for families and an special ice cream topping recipe.